Beware of ruthless tax office scammers
DOUGLAS residents have been warned of an increase in scamming around tax time.
Australian Taxation Office assistant commissioner Kath Anderson said 48,084 scams were reported between July and October last year.
“We have already seen a five-fold increase in scams from January to May this year and typically expect further increases during the tax time period,” she said.
“This year, the ATO has registered over 17,067 scam reports. Of these, 113 Australians handed over $1.5 million to fraudsters with about 2500 providing some form of personal information, including tax file numbers.
“One victim lost $900,000 to scammers, even borrowing from family and friends.
She said some scams were harder to spot than others.
“Scammers locate genuine ATO phone numbers from our website and project these numbers in their caller ID in an attempt to legitimise their call – a form of impersonation known as ‘spoofing’,” she said.
“While we do make thousands of calls a week to people, our outbound calls do not project numbers on caller ID.
“If one appears, it’s most likely a scam. People should be wary of emails, phone calls and SMS during tax time that claim to be from the ATO, even if it seems legitimate.
“If you’re ever unsure about whether a call, text message or email is genuine, call us on 1800 008 540.”
If you think you or someone you know has fallen victim to a tax related scam, call the ATO on 1800 008 540.
For details on how to verify or report scams, visit ato.gov. au/scams or for updates on the latest scams, visit Scamwatch.